The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has slammed a fresh 27-count charge of corruption and bribery on senior advocate of Nigeria, Rickey Tarfa, accusing him of bribing another judge.
In the charge filed at the Lagos State High Court, the anti-graft commission accused the lawyer of bribing two federal judges to the tune of N8.83 million over a period of four years.
Court documents filed on Friday, seen by PREMIUM TIMES, alleged transfer of money in trances of mainly N1.5 million and N500,000 from Mr Tarfa’s bank account number 1002926967 with Zenith Bank, to Awa Ajia Nigerian Limited, a company allegedly owned by Justice Nganjiwa Ajiya of the Federal High Court.
An affidavit signed by G.O Adebola, an assistant detective commander, claimed that the lawyer started making the suspicious payments on June 27, 2012 with the sum of N1.5 million from his account directly to Mr. Ajiya.
On the same day of the initial payment, Mr Tarfar, allegedly paid another N500,000.00 to Mr Ajiya.
Subsequently payment made to the judge were as follows:
Five hundred thousand naira paid on 6 August, 2013; N1.5 million paid on 29 January 2014; N835,000 paid on 3 October 2014; N500,000 paid on 22 December, 2014; N1.5 million paid on Awa Ajia Limited’s account number 0000971931 with Access Bank Limited paid on 27 October, 2015, N500,000 paid on 30th December 2015 to Awa Ajia Limited; and N500,000 paid to Awa Ajia 8th January, 2016, N200,000 to Justice Mohammed Yunusa on 30th November, 2015.
Other payments are: N500,000 paid on 15t December, 2015 to Awa Ajia Limited, and another N300,000 paid indirectly to Mr Yunusa, through Awa Ajia Limited.
The anti-graft agency claimed alleged that the monies were meant to subvert the course of justice as they were intended to refrain the judges from acting in the exercise of their official duties and therefore contravenes section 64 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, No. 11. 2011.
The charges also included three charges of refusal to declare his assets contrary to section 27 (3) (c) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act, 2004 and making false statement to an officer of the EFCC, contrary to section 38(2)(a) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act, 2004.
The EFCC said Mr. Tarfa lied and made a false statement to Usman Zakari, a Senior Detective Superintendent of the commission when he claimed to be 43 years old.
This fresh 27-count charge comes on the heels of another on a two-count charge of obstruction of justice and attempting to pervert the course of justice the EFCC filed against the senior lawyer last month.
In the suit, the commission claimed that details of the lawyer’s call log showed that he maintained constant communication with Mr. Yunusa, a judge of the Federal High Court.
The EFCC further claimed that Mr Tarfa bribed the judge with N225,000.00 to give judgement in a case in favour of his client.